“Chapter 36: The Lord’s Second Coming,” Doctrines of the Gospel Teacher Manual (), 129–30
“Chapter 36,” Doctrines of the Gospel, 129–30
Ask the students which topics are most frequently mentioned in the Bible. After listing on the chalkboard their suggestions, read Elder Sterling W. Sill’s observation in Supporting Statements A on pages 100–101 of the student manual (see Conference Report, Apr. 1966, p. 19).
The Savior’s second coming has been prophesied throughout the ages.
Point out that the Second Coming is mentioned frequently in the scriptures because prophets in all ages have been commissioned to prophesy of this great event.
Invite the students to use the Topical Guide in the Latter-day Saint edition of the King James Version of the Bible (s.v. “Jesus Christ, Second Coming”) to locate at least one prophecy of Christ’s second coming made by Malachi, Isaiah, Ezekiel, John, Paul, and Joseph Smith. Have the students share their findings. Add insights about the Second Coming given by other prophets and by the Lord himself.
Help the students understand that prophets in all ages prophesied about the second coming of Christ so that the faithful could be prepared to meet him. Discuss what we must do to be prepared for the second coming of the Savior.
The Savior will make several appearances before his second coming to all the world.
Display a map of the world. Ask the students to identify where the Savior will make his appearances. Help them understand that the Savior will make several appearances before his second coming to all the world. Refer to Doctrinal Outline B on page 100 of the student manual. Read Daniel 7:9–10, 13–14; Doctrine and Covenants 45. List on the chalkboard the four separate appearances referred to in those passages of scripture. You may also want to read Supporting Statements B on page 101 of the student manual. For the location of Adam-ondi-Ahman and Independence, Missouri (the New Jerusalem), refer your students to the map on page 297 of the 1981 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.
The Lord has spoken about his final appearance in some detail.
Point out that most of the information found in the scriptures about the Second Coming refers to the final glorious appearance of the Savior. Ask the students what they think of when the Second Coming is mentioned. What do they believe it will be like? List their ideas on the chalkboard. Do not draw any conclusions yet; this activity is intended to help the students evaluate their present understanding of the Second Coming.
Many students may have questions about when the Savior will come. Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:40; 1 Thessalonians 5:2–4; Doctrine and Covenants 106:4–5. Discuss how a thief comes. Point out that there is no telegram or telephone call in advance to warn of his arrival. Read Doctrine and Covenants 77:12–13 and Revelation 12–13. Then read Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s comments in Supporting Statements C on page 102 of the student manual (see The Millennial Messiah, pp. 21–22).
Many events described in the scriptures will occur in conjunction with the Savior’s final appearance. Some pertinent scriptures are listed in Doctrinal Outline C 3 through C 10 on page 100 of the student manual. You could assign the students to look up certain scriptures and determine what event or sign is described. List the events and signs on the chalkboard as the students explain them.
Elder Richard L. Evans made a statement that could help the students understand the attitude they should take in preparing for the Second Coming:
“I recall a reported statement, attributed, as I remember it, to President Wilford Woodruff. Some of the brethren of his time are said to have approached him (they had their troubles also) and to have inquired of him as to when he felt the end would be—when would be the coming of the Master? These, I think, are not his exact words, but they convey the spirit of his reported reply: ‘I would live as if it were to be tomorrow—but I am still planting cherry trees!’ I think we may well take this as a page for our own book and live as if the end might be tomorrow—and still plant cherry trees!” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1950, pp. 105–6.)
Ask why the Savior’s second coming is both a great and a terrible day. For the righteous, it is a day of rejoicing (see Revelation 19:6–7); for the wicked, it is a day of sorrow and destruction (see D&C 45:49–50; 29:15).
Ask your students to describe the purposes of the Second Coming:
To cleanse the earth of wickedness
To bring peace and establish the kingdom of God on the earth
To reward the righteous
Read and discuss Doctrine and Covenants 38:30. Note particularly the phrase “if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” Point out that this statement is an injunction as well as a promise.